butterfly Iconspeaker_3 Vlinder
[de vlin-der, de vlin-ders]

A "vlinder" is a butterfly. There are over 50 day-flying butterfly species in the Netherlands, although it seems that their number has decreased during the last ten, twenty years.

And yes, the Dutch have butterflies in their tummies too 🙂

– "Zij is als een vlinder…ik ben zo verliefd op haar…" 
("She’s like a butterfly…I’m so in love with her…")

– "Een witte vlinder op een rode roos…wat een romantisch beeld…" 
("A white butterfly on a red rose…what a romantic image…")

– "Het vlindereffect is de theorie die zegt dat het gefladder van een vlinder ergens anders ter wereld een tornado kan veroorzaken." 
("The butterfly effect is the theory which states that the fluttering of a butterfly can cause a tornado in another part of the world.")

– "Vorige week had Frank nog vlinders in zijn buik. Gisteren heeft hij weer een blauwtje gelopen." 
("Last week, Frank still had butterflies in his tummy. Yesterday he was turned down again.")

Related words:
– Insekt: insect [noun] [het insekt, de insekten].
– Mot: moth [noun] [de mot, de motten].
– Rups: caterpillar [noun] [de rups, de rupsen].
Vlieg: fly [noun] [de vlieg, de vliegen].

– "Ober, er zit een vlieg in mijn soep."
("Waiter, there is a fly in my soup.")

Bij: bee [noun] [de bij, de bijen].
– Wesp: wasp [noun] [de wesp, de wespen].
– Vlinderdas: bow tie [noun] [de vlinderdas, de vlinderdassen].
– Vlindermes: butterfly knife, balisong [noun] [het vlindermes, de vlindermessen].

6 thoughts on “Vlinder

  1. Also a bow-tie as in German?
    In Belgium I have heard a butterfly called a “citroentje” (not sure of the spelling). Would that be any sort of butterfly I wonder, or maybe just a yellow one?

  2. I thought a vlindermes was a flick-knife or switchblade.
    Also, it is more common to hear the phrase ‘butterflies in my tummy’ rather than stomach. This also seems to translate more literally as buik is tummy and maag is stomach.
    Arme Frank – hij heeft alleen maar pech!

  3. Thanks Marc,
    I stand duly corrected, and have learned something about knives too! It seems then that a flick-knife or switch-blade is a ‘stiletto’ in Dutch.

  4. In English you can use butterflies in your tummy to refer to a feeling of nervousness (e.g. before an exam). Is this the same in Dutch? I was under the impression that in Dutch the expression is used more in the context of being in love.

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